Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Opening in Dallas, 07/14

by Brian
Early this week!

Army of Shadows (trailer): Another Rialto reissue, although this one looks particularly special. Jean-Pierre Melville’s film about the French Resistance during World War II was never released in the US until this year, and the trailer is pretty awesome.

A Scanner Darkly (trailer): Yet another Keanu Reeves casting decision that has pissed off fans of the source material. Poor guy can’t catch a break. I’m interested in this but I have reservations, mostly that Richard Linklater’s reputation generally seems to exceed what his actual work would justify.

Strangers with Candy (trailer): I originally missed the TV show that this is based on, but caught a couple episodes on re-runs not long ago. It was amusing enough, but what really struck me is how committed Amy Sedaris is to this character. She gave it enough depth that it managed to avoid feeling overly like an SNL sketch, as it otherwise may have. If the same is true for the movie, it’ll probably not be half bad.

Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man (trailer): I’ve been listening to some Leonard Cohen lately; like most people my age, I really only knew him from his songs in Natural Born Killers. After listening a bit more, I think his songs are generally very impressive, while the arrangements are generally less so. It’s seems somewhat surprising to me that he hasn’t suffered the same fate as, say, Kris Kristofferson, being known much more for other people’s versions of his songs than his own. Given that, I wonder if the controversial decision to feature a lot of other acts performing his songs in the movie isn’t the way to go.

Who Killed the Electric Car?: (trailer): I have little to add to Alex’s review.

You, Me and Dupree (trailer): Contra Wells, I am kinda tired of Owen Wilson. In his defense, though, this movie looks plenty bad anyway. I wonder if Kate Hudson will ever get serious about doing another good movie?

Little Man (trailer): I’ve already said all that I need to say about this one.


Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

I'm planning on seeing A Scanner Darkly, which will be playing at one theater near me. I think Reeves is underrated actor. The Bill & Ted films, which made him famous, may have set his career back (check out his first film River's Edge, in which he gives a fine performance). For years he was associated with saying "Whoa!" The Matrix films, which made him fabulously rich, didn't exactly stretch him an as an actor, but it gave him freedom to follow his own drummer and do cameos in offbeat films like Thumbsucker. I really have nothing against him (although he was pretty bad in Dracula).

7/12/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Keanu Reeves: there was a time when it seemed like a popular review catchphrase was "Keanu Reeves, again horribly miscast in a period film...."

I'm not sure if I can take the look of A Scanner Darkly for the whole film. At least in Waking Life there were some different types of animation to mix it up.

7/12/2006 05:46:00 PM  
Anonymous lora said...

I'm looking forward to seeing A Scanner Darkly. I have a strange respect for Keanu Reeves as an actor and a person, but I can't point to any particular reason for it. Perhaps it's because he doesn't seem to work himself into a frenzy trying to prove he's a serious actor. He seems to just keep doing his thing, with various degrees of success, without getting too dragged down by the criticism. I think he's caught on the basic truth of his life: some people will always make fun of him, but he keeps getting hired!
As for Little Man-when I see the ads on TV, I hear a voice in my's Mel Blanc as Bugs Bunny screaming, "Finster Baby! How many times have I told you not to play with the dirty money?!?"

7/13/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

Just got back from A Scanner Darkly. Not sure what I think of it, but I have to say it is unsuccessful. The best part of it is when Robert Downey and Woody Harrelson are on screen. The film is layered heavily with philosophical riffs about identity that I'm sure make the book interesting but weight the film down. The animation wasn't distracting, you accept it right away, and at times, especially when characters wear the "scramble suit," it's downright hypnotic, and you think you're on the drug yourself.

7/15/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm looking forward to Scanner, I hope it opens here soon. In my eyes, Linklatter can do no wrong. I even liked The Newton Boys.

He gets a lot of flack for his philosophical meandering, but that is the main draw for me.

7/17/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

Chris: Did you see the Bad News Bears remake? That will test your Linklater love.

7/17/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Saw Scanner yesterday, and pretty much agree with Slim. It felt like a short story that had been stretched out to feature length, but without ... adding ... anything. A lot of the drug talk was amusing but felt like filler.

It felt like fairly standard Linklater to me, a bit lackluster and unfocused. It's all very much a part of that odd Hill country ethos - Chris will probably love it :)

7/17/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I passed on Bad News Bears, acutally. It seemed to me to be a rehash of two movies; the original BNB and Bad Santa. It wasn't Rick's script and it felt like he was just working as a director for hire. BNB and Tape, are the only films of his that I haven't seen (I'm saving Tape because I heard it was good).

7/18/2006 05:50:00 PM  

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